Rishi Sunak has been urged to make good on a pledge to invest in Aberdeen to help the oil and gas industry go green in today’s spending review, amid claims “failure” to do so cannot go on any longer.
A group of eight SNP politicians representing the city have penned an 11-point wish list to the chancellor, ahead of his Westminster speech.
The MPs for Gordon, Aberdeen North and Aberdeen South – Richard Thomson, Kirsty Blackman and Stephen Flynn; MSPs for Aberdeen Central, Kevin Stewart, and Aberdeenshire South and North Kincardine, Maureen Watt, claim a “perfect storm” of an oil price crash and the pandemic have hit the city hard, with difficulties compounded by the continued risk presented by Brexit.
Holyrood 2021 candidates Jackie Dunbar and Audrey Nicoll and council group leader Alex Nicoll are also co-signatories, highlighting a 9,300 rise in universal credit claimants in Aberdeen after six months of the pandemic.
“The Treasury has raked in more than £350 billion from Aberdeen’s oil and gas industry over the years – it is time to give back,” they wrote.
Among their wishes is the “long-promised” oil and gas sector deal – aimed at protecting jobs through the energy transition – and a halt to council debt repayments on the Treasury’s public works loans board (PWLB) lending.
They also seek devolution of borrowing powers to the Scottish Government, continuation of the £20 uplift in universal credit, funding to extend business rates relief and money for Scottish football clubs.